This course is designed to give students the opportunity to interact with faculty and other students from Cultural Studies and other departments, programs, and schools around a central theme or topic that varies from year-to-year, but is broad enough to accommodate the interests of most CLST students. Each student devises a research project related to the theme or topic and, from that project, prepares a final paper, a shortened version of which is presented at the annual Common Seminar Colloquium. This event, held each April, is open to the university community and wider public. At the colloquium, the Annual Cultural Studies Distinguished Guest Lecturer, selected for being a renowned expert on the Common Seminar theme or topic, provides commentary on each paper presented. The floor is then opened to questions from other seminar participants and the audience.
Recent Common Seminars have included:
- Keywords: History & Practice of Cross-Disciplinary Research Methods (2016).
- Outsiders: Citizenship and its Others (2015)
- Cultural Dis/Union (2014)
- Neoliberalism and Cultural Production (2013)
- Cultural Formation Now: Contemporaneity, Connectivity, Planetarity (2012)
- A Brief History of the Imagination and Common Sense (2011)
- The Erotics of Humanism (2011)
- Race in the Americas: The Biopolitical Turn (2009)
The common seminar instructor previews the annual theme at an inaugural lecture given at the CLST Open House each October.